Retail inflation at 4-mth low of 4.44% on cheaper food, fuel

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In the 12 months through February, the CPI rose 2.2 percent, up from 2.1 percent in January as the flat reading from a year ago dropped from the calculation.

The indices of industrial production for mining, manufacturing and electricity sectors for the month of January 2018 stands at 114.5, 133.8 and 149.5 respectively, with the corresponding growth rates of 0.1 percent, 8.7 percent and 7.6 percent as compared to January 2017. Core prices-which exclude the volatile food and energy categories-also climbed 0.2%. 'As expected, CPI inflation eased to 4.44 percent in February 2018, compared to 5.07 percent in the previous month, with all the components witnessing a decline in prices except for health, clothing and footwear, transport and communication. The cost of motor vehicle insurance rose by a record 1.7 percent last month. While not the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, the data shows that price pressures are slowly moving towards the central bank's 2% target. Moreover, core inflation is sticky at around 5%, while an imposition of more tariffs on some imports like mobile phones is likely to boost price pressures, and may prompt RBI to wait and watch. Capital goods, an indicator of investment activity, showed a sharp increase in output by 14.6 per cent in January 2018 as against a decline of 0.6 per cent a year ago.

The news could help ease volatility on Wall Street, where fears of inflation and rising rates have spooked investors in recent weeks. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, increased 0.2 percent last month after advancing 0.3 percent in January. Over the past 12 months, food prices are up 1.4%.

Clothing prices rose sharply for the second straight month in February, and rents, auto insurance and airline fares also increased.

Inflation in India slowed for a second straight month, giving the central bank room to keep interest rates on hold for longer while providing relief to battered bond investors. Further, seasonal increase in food prices will impact inflation from April too.

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Industrial activity accelerated in January to 7.5% on the back of strong manufacturing growth and a rebound in the consumer durables sector, according to official data released on Monday.

In this environment, the strong Eurozone current account position continued to provide important underlying euro support, with a further push higher to the 1.2400 area.

Industrial production grew at 4.1 per cent in April-January this fiscal as compared to 5 per cent in same period in previous financial year.

Slovakia's 10-year bond yield rose as much as five basis points and the cost of insuring exposure to its debt hit the highest in nearly three months as the country's government inched towards collapse.

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